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ADMS 2610 Lecture Notes - Concurrent Jurisdiction

Administrative Studies
Course Code
ADMS 2610
William Pomerantz

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One of the problems with any text on the subject is some key terms are used
before you get to the various chapters which better explain them. For example, in
Chapter 1 you will find reference to terms such as action, case, legislation and
jurisdiction, each of which has a specific meaning or meanings, but you will not yet
have a proper basis for understanding what is meant. Thus, to help you, before you
begin to read the materials and even if you have already begun to do so, let me try to
explain to you four of the terms that you are going to meet time and time again
throughout the course.
1. Action: Commonly called a law suit, an action can be thought of as being a
claim brought in court by one or more people (or entities who have legal
rights, such as a company) against one or more people or legal entities. It
begins with a claim and ends in a decision of the court. Other words
for action are, law suit, legal proceeding, action at law and case.
2. Case: Although this does mean action, more often than not, it refers to
the decision of a court which usually sets out the type of case, the facts on
which a decision will be made, the legal principles used in making the
decision and the decision itself. Decisions of cases are identified by the name
or names of the person or persons bringing a law suit or action at law (called
the plaintiff(s)) and the name or names of the person or persons against whom
the action is brought (the defendant(s)). For example, consider the
following: Stewart Jones v. Bank of Montreal. The plaintiff or person who
brought the law suit or action or case was Stewart Jones and the defendant
against whom the law suit was brought was the Bank of Montreal. This case
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can also be referred to as Jones v. Bank of Montreal. You will learn more
about cases/legal decisions when we discuss the Common Law system which,
leaving legislation aside, is the fundamental basis for law in Canada.
3. Legislation: Legislation is in the form of written law which is passed by a
particular level of government, determined by the Canadian
Constitution. Generally speaking, when it comes to the federal government,
we mean the House of Commons or federal legislature, and when it comes to
the provincial government we mean the provincial houses or legislatures.
When a given level of government passes legislation we can also say that
it makes or enacts legislation=. The legislation so passed, made or enacted
becomes law. Another word for legislation is Statutes or Acts, and when
talking about legislation, you will see variations such as Act of
Parliamentor federal or provincial statutes, Acts or legislation. Legislation
is usually presented to the federal or provincial legislatures in the form of
something called a bill setting out the written law to be considered by a federal
or provincial member of parliament, and when passed, the bill becomes
a piece of legislation, legislation, a statute or an enactment or an Act. All of
these words mean the same thing. For example, the Income Tax Act, Canada,
is a statute or Act or enactment or piece of legislation or
simply legislation made, passed or enacted by the federal government (federal
parliament or House of Commons), while the Libel and Slander Act of
Ontariois an example of a statute or Act or enactment or piece of
legislation or simply legislation made, passed or enacted by the Ontario
3. Jurisdiction: Jurisdiction can be thought of first as the power or authority of
either a level of government or a court over something and/or the right of the
federal or provincial government to make laws in a specific area. For
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